The ‘Teen Wolf’ movie packs a nostalgic punch and keeps the door open for new stories

The Teen Wolf movie hits Paramount+ on January 26, but will fans of the beloved series enjoy their return to Beacon Hills? Read on to find out.

As a long time Teen Wolf fan, I was cautiously optimistic when the movie was first announced. Returning to this world after all this time meant a lot to me—I’ve talked at length on Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast about the impact this show has had on my life—but where would the creative team behind this movie take the story? How would the characters change? Would I enjoy coming back after all this time?

The short answer is yes. And so is the long answer. Despite the fact that everyone has moved on, the essence of their characters remains intact. It still feels like the pack we fell in love with over the course of six seasons—but in a new era of their lives. As we’ve grown since the premiere in 2011, so have these actors and their onscreen counterparts.

In fact, so has Teen Wolf itself. In the film, you can expect to see some mild nudity, as well as some swearing, thanks to the property’s new home on Paramount+. The amount of horror and gore is about the same, so while the film may be a little more mature, it still has the same look and feel the series had back when it was airing on MTV. That makes it much easier to return after the time-jump.

The main draw here is, of course, the actors returning to once again pick up their mantles. Tyler Posey as Scott McCall steps into that leadership role with an ease that was hard won after six years. Holland Roden as Lydia Martin adds an air of elegance and power to every scene she’s in. Shelley Hennig as Malia Tate continues to get laughs for her deadpan delivery. And then there’s Tyler Hoechlin as Derek Hale, who has arguably had the most growth out of anyone on the show. He’s as stoic as ever, particularly now that he’s a father.

Those names may be the big draws, but this cast wouldn’t be what it is without everyone else, too. Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby) is still kicking ass and taking names. Chris Argent (JR Bourne) has a few emotional scenes that will bring tears to your eyes. Dr. Deaton (Seth Gilliam) is, shockingly, more helpful than he ever was on the show. Deputy Parrish (Ryan Kelley) burns brighter than ever, and Melissa McCall (Melissa Ponzio) continues to be steadfast in her compassion. While Liam Dunbar and Mason Hewitt (Dylan Sprayberry and Khylin Rhambo, respectively) take a backseat to some of the more established characters, they certainly bring their A-game when it comes time to fight. Oh, and let’s not forget Coach Finstock (Orny Adams), who hasn’t changed one bit, and Peter Hale (Ian Bohen), who continues to be one of the most divisive and entertaining characters in this universe. It’s truly like no time has passed at all.

Though Colton Haynes reprised his role as Jackson Whittemore in the Teen Wolf season 6 finale, he makes an even more triumphant return in the Teen Wolf movie. Jackson and Lydia are best friends, and their camaraderie is as natural as it is hilarious. He adds that trademarked Whittemore snark, and proves on several occasions to be more than a bystander with excellent fashion sense.

And then there’s Crystal Reed as Allison Argent. I won’t say anything about her role in the movie, as this is just a spoiler-free preview of what’s to come, but I will tell you that she’s phenomenal. Everything you loved about Allison from the first three seasons of the show is still there, with the nature of her return adding more complexity to both the situation and the character. To see her opposite Scott once again is a dream come true for any fan, and reminds us all why we fell in love with them to begin with.

teen wolf movie crystal reed allison argent

A couple of unannounced appearances will no doubt excite fans—I certainly cheered a few times throughout the movie—but the newcomers also make their mark on this world. Hikari, played by Amy Lin Workman, is a smart and capable addition to the cast of characters, and my only complaint is that there wasn’t time to include her in more scenes.

Vince Mattis’ Eli Hale was front and center from the beginning of the Teen Wolf movie to the very end. As Derek’s son, he carries the Hale legacy (and its werewolf genes) on his shoulders, but he’s not a carbon copy of his father. Eli is his own person, and just like Scott and the others during their teenage years, he’s simply trying to find his own path through this crazy world.

Fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by Dylan O’Brien’s absence in the film, though Stiles is certainly not forgotten and his presence is felt throughout the movie. I was as hopeful as anyone that we’d get to see Scott’s best friend again, but I’ll admit that there is enough going on in the Teen Wolf movie to keep you occupied—thanks to the Nogitsune.

Teen Wolf season 3 is a fan-favorite for a reason, in part because of O’Brien’s incredible acting skills as well as the villain’s ability to get inside our heroes’ heads. That season of the show is the most rooted in psychological horror, and I don’t think anyone who has watched Teen Wolf will have forgotten the Nogitsune any time soon. It is, after all, why Allison was taken from us to begin with.

In the Teen Wolf movie, the Nogitsune feels bigger and scarier than ever. It already has a taste for the pack’s blood, and this time, causing chaos is not enough. It is out for revenge. But it doesn’t feel like a rehashing of an old plot line; Allison’s return raises the stakes and complicates the mission further.

But Teen Wolf season 3 isn’t the only part of the series that we see referenced in the movie. The first three seasons of the show are particularly important, and we get plenty of flashbacks from those early days. The Teen Wolf movie is as much about the origins of Scott and his pack as it is about the next chapter of their lives.

In fact, the nostalgia was so real, that after I finished the film, I had the urge to go back and rewatch the show from the beginning. It reminded me why I fell in love with Teen Wolf to begin with, and made me realize how much I missed seeing it on my screen every week.

There were plenty of full-circle moments in the movie, and I was satisfied with where everyone ended up by the time the credits rolled. I found it to be entertaining and action-packed, and exactly what I wanted out of a movie set in this universe. As some doors close, new ones open, and it’s clear that there’s plenty of room for more Teen Wolf in our future.

I know I’ll be there. Will you?